Working Party on Research meeting and workshops in Prague

July, 2013

Report on Activities of WONCA Working Party on Research at the 20th WONCA World Conference held at Prague

WONCA Working Party on Research (WWPR) held its meeting and conducted three workshops during the 20th WONCA World Conference held at Prague. The participation and enthusiasm of participation at these events was exemplary.

The three yearly meeting was held on June 24. It was chaired by Professor Waris Qidwai and Professor John Beasley, who have been selected as Chair and Co-Chair respectively of the Working Party for another term. It was attended by 27 participants, representing the seven WONCA regions. A minute silence was observed in memory of late Professor Barbara Starfield. A review was made of the past activities of the group and future plans for next term were discussed.

Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith, from New Zealand, made a proposal to have panel discussions in regional meetings of representing countries, in order to identify gaps in various aspects of primary care. It was decided to work through member organizations of WONCA to promote primary care research. It was agreed that WONCA should ask governments, policy makers and stakeholders to ensure establishment of departments of family medicine in medical colleges and provide protected funds for primary care research. It was also agreed to strive for inclusion of research training in the curriculum in medical colleges at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Professor Michael Kidd attended the meeting and addressed the participants. Professor Christos Lionis was asked to continue as chair of the International Federation of Primary Care Research Networks and to come up with recommendations with regards to future strategies for the Federation. He made a brief presentation about Federation and its performance.

DRAFT Policy statement from the WONCA Working Party on Research

1. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must support and engage in research.
2. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must collaborate with community based practices to address relevant research questions for patient benefit and the advancement of the discipline through research.
3. All nations should prioritise FM / GP / PHC research and provide competitive but protected funding for this to take place.

  Prof Waris Qidwai facilitates discussion at one of the workshops


Three workshops were held by WWPR during the conference. The workshop on “Access to Person-Centered Care” was very successful and attended by 32 participants, representing the seven WONCA regions. Status with regards to patient access to health services was discussed and barriers and challenges were identified so that a focus for future research initiatives could be based on them. A report was generated on the proceedings.

The workshop on “Primary Care Research strategies” was most successful and attended by close to 50 participants from across WONCA regions. Status, issues, barriers to primary care research were discussed and strategies formulated for work plan for WONCA and WWPR. Facilitating research, capacity building and mentoring all came under discussion. Recommendations coming out of 2003 Kingston report and paper published by Professor Beasley on primary care and global health were discussed.

The workshop on the role of primary care research networks in the age of austerity was led by Professor Christos Lionis and was very well attended. Various ways in which primary care research can continue to provide support in a period of limited resources to improve health was discussed.

Revised vision and objectives

Vision of the WONCA Working Party on ResearchResearch is a core component of general practice / family medicine / primary health care training, scholarship and clinical practice in all nations.

Objectives of the WONCA Working Party on Research

1. To promote all university departments of family medicine / general practice / primary health care (FM / GP / PHC) or equivalent institutions globally in supporting and engaging in research to provide essential evidence for informed clinical and health policy decision making.
2. To promote all nations and funding bodies in prioritising FM / GP / PHC research and providing it with competitive but protected funding.
3. To support countries and regions in the promotion and nurturing of FM / GP / PHC research in their respective nations, and the timely translation of its results into everyday clinical service.

WWPR meetings and workshops have brought enthusiasm and generated fresh interest in primary care research. New members are joining us and will bring new ideas and initiatives to help WONCA and WWPR to improve health of communities and families through primary care research initiatives. WWPR invites interested doctors to join us in our quest to promote primary care research globally.

The join the group email
Prof Waris Qidwai
Chair, WONCA Working Party on Research